tv Meet the Press NBC October 30, 2017 2:00am-3:01am PDT
this sunday, a momentous week in the history of the republican party. two establishment republican senators say they have had enough of president trump. bob corker of tennessee. >> you would think he would aspire to be the president of the united states and act like a president of the united states. >> and jeff flake of arizona. >> we must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics are normal. they are not normal. >> both are now leaving the senate and their republican colleagues make it clear it's president trump's party now. >> we have actually great unity in the republican party. >> my guests this morning, republican senator rob portman of ohio on the gop divide. and senator claire mccaskill of
missouri on running as a democrat in trump country. plus, our brand new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. the latest numbers for the president and a sign of where the vote for congress might be headed in 2018. also robert mueller is expected to serve up the first indictment in the russia investigation. we'll have the latest on what to look for there. and the opioid epidemic. this morning, i'll talk to a fire chief on the front lines of this crisis. >> i see this as a countrywide problem that has the potential to bankrupt the country. >> huntington, west virginia's fire chief on the day in the life, fighting the epidemic. joining me for insight and analysis are chris matthews, host of "hardball" on msnbc. amy walter, national editor of the cook political report. al cardenas, former chairman of the american conservative union. and eliana johnson of politico. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in
washington, the longest running show in television history, celebrating its 70th year, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. it's his party and you can cry if you want to. however you view what's happened to the republican party over the past year, president trump has managed a hostile takeover or that he's being greeted as a liberator, there's no question now that he has recreated the party in his own image, at least the base of his party in his own image. beyond that, he's struggling. our brand new nbc news "wall street journal" poll shows his rating at a low. 38% approve, 58% disapprove. that's down considerably from where mr. trump was just a month ago in the first aftermath of those hurricanes. it is also the lowest in modern times for a president in the first year of his presidency. and hanging over the president right now is this, nbc news has confirmed that a federal grand jury has approved the first indictment or indictments in
special counsel bob mueller's russia investigation, which could target one or more people. anyone charged could be taken into custody as soon as tomorrow. which leads to this question, will president trump's base care? or even believe the charges? because look at this, among republicans the president is wildly popular. 81-17 approve/disapprove on the job he's doing. republican voters seem to be pretty clear. they want president trump's brand of conservatism, not the brand represented by the republican party establishment. that dynamic played out in the past few weeks when two republican senators, not exactly moderates, mind you, jeff flake of arizona and bob corker of tennessee, openly criticized the president and decided not to run for re-election, and the republican base seemed to say good riddance. >> we have actually great unity in the republican party. >> the republican party is quickly becoming the party of trump. this week, there was republican resistance. >> when we remain silent and
fail to act, when we know that silence and inaction is the wrong thing to do because of political considerations, because we might make enemies, because we might alienate the base, we dishonor or principles. >> you would think he would aspire to be the president of the united states and act like a president of the united states, but, you know, that's just not going to be the case. >> but that resistance was met with silence by republicans who have determined that it's better politics to accommodate mr. trump than to challenge him. >> he was elected president. i'm going to work with him for the good of our country. >> i don't think the american people want to see us up here yelling at each other. >> the president has his own way of communicating and look, it's worked. >> everyone shut up and do your job is my view. >> arizona senator jeff flake's announcement that he will retire rather than face a tough re-election fight follows the retirement announcement ofs tennessee's bob corker and a series of house moderates, all members of this so-called
republican establishment. and on the 2017 campaign trail, republican candidates for governor in new jersey and virginia are mimicking mr. trump's rhetoric on immigration -- >> when asked about deporting criminal illegals, phil murphy said -- >> my bias is going to be having their back. >> and on statues honoring the confederacy. >> i'm for keeping them up, and he's for taking them down. >> and congressional republicans have been hesitant to criticize candidates who appeal to the president's base, like alabama's roy moore, who has argued that homosexuality should be against the law and muslim americans should not be allowed to serve in congress. these republicans are worried that they, like senator flake, will become targets of a trump friendly media. >> take your other colleagues with you. mitch mcconnell, good-bye. ben sasse, good-bye, john corn on, good-bye. lisa murkowski, susan collins. >> steve bannon has promised to defeat mainstream republican candidates in 2018. >> it's an open revolt, and it
should be. they think that you're a group of morons. >> and this week allies of senate republican leader mitch mcconnell declared war, attempting to discredit bannon's brand of nationalism. >> this is a person who has a racially charged view of the world that not only do most americans find problematic but most republicans would find problematic. >> for now mr. trump is winning battles over what the republican party stands for, but he may be creating a smaller party in the process. and the 2017 and 2018 ballot box will decide whether the president wins the war to reshape his party. >> joining me now is republican senator rob portman of ohio. senator portman, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thanks for having me on again, chuck. >> simple question. how do you explain what's going on inside this party right now? >> well, i don't think it's new. you remember the tea party, you probably remember the moral majority. we have a spirited debate within our party again. boy the way, the democrats are not immune from that either. >> no doubt. >> you've got the bernie sanders
wing pushing back against some stuff the dnc did last week as an example. so, look, in both parties there are very different points of view. right now you've got a substantial majority of republicans in governorships and the state legislatures, both houses of congress and the president just won, so the party is in good shape but, yeah, we've got some divisions. >> do you think that basically washington republicans are out of touch with the majority of republican primary voters? is this something you came to a conclusion of when you were running for re-election last year? >> well, i had a primary. i also had a general election that we won by 21 points in a state that's considered a swing state because we focused on working together across the aisle and getting stuff done. i mean i was not shy about talking about it, and i was able to talk about specific accomplishments. 50 bills being signed into law by president obama, by the way, and i think that actually is, you know, what people are looking for. when i was just home this weekend, i don't hear people talking about the latest in washington, they're talking about are you guys going to get this tax reform done because i'm looking for a middle class tax
cut. i'm looking for a way to get my earnings up, my wages up. >> so you don't think the leadership of the republican party is out of touch with the grassroots? >> look, the republican primary voters, you know, have spoken in a couple of these primaries, particularly in alabama recently, no question about it. but by the same token, so-called establishment type republicans, you know, won in montana, won in georgia, when people thought that those races were going to go the other way. so i think the party is in pretty good shape. >> i want to play one excerpt from jeff flake's floor speech early aier this week. here it is. >> when the next generation asks us why didn't you do something? why didn't you speak up? what are we going to say? mr. president, i rise today to say enough. >> do you share senator flake's concern? he almost sees this as an existential crisis that president trump is bringing upon the country when it comes to political discourse and democracy, do you share that
concern? >> so president trump was elected, duly elected, including winning by eight points in ohio, as you know, and we've got to be sure that he succeeds. when he succeeds, the country succeeds. i was not someone who at the end was able to vote for him, but when he was elected, i said i'm going to work with him, on tax reform, on addressing the opioid crisis which you're going to talk about later with the fire chief from west virginia. and that's our job. our job is to actually get some things done here and help to influence the administration toward accomplishing things people care about. >> so because he won your state, that's -- you overlook things that concern you? >> well, no, he won the presidency. >> i understand that. >> he's our president. just as i worked with president obama and president clinton before him, i'm just talking about my job. i think it's setting an example of bipartisanship and civility and getting things done. >> do you mean character still counts in american politics? >> of course.
i don't agree with every tweet, as you know i've spoken up on occasion. yet if you're focused on the tweets and not focused on actually accomplishing what people are looking to have happen for them and their family, you know, i think you are getting out of touch with the american people. >> i want to also get you to respond to something steve bannon said about the bush presidency, since you served in the bush presidency. >> yes. proudly. >> he has no earthly idea whether he's coming or going. just like it was when he was president of the united states. i want to apologize up front to any of the bush folks outside, in this audience, okay, because there has not been a more destructive presidency than george bush's. >> do you understand his criticism? >> i'm glad he apologized to me and others who have a lot of respect for george w. bush and what he did. >> that's a pretty large charge from a republican president's former chief strategist. >> yeah. after 9/11, he brought the country together in extraordinary ways and dealt
with a true crisis, not just here in this country but globally. you know, he faced a lot of tough issues. in my view, he woke up every morning focused on what was best for the country. >> do you understand bannon's beef? >> well, you know, i suppose on a policy basis he thought he should have been tougher on immigration, as an example. instead george bush tried to figure out how do you come up with a consensus on immigration and so he did propose immigration reform. i think that's needed in this country. i think most americans do too. >> i want to move to tax reform here a little bit. this is going to be a big part of it. one of the initial votes you made and republicans made in general was essentially allowing for more deficit spending, if necessary, to grow the debt. you were concerned about the debt when barack obama was president. let me play some clips. >> the american people are rightly frustrated by the fact that we have the biggest deficit in the history of our country and the biggest debt ever. >> debt and deficit will end up in a fiscal crisis and an
economic crisis. >> it's a question as to whether we're going to just sort of turn our heads and allow this to occur or whether we're going to actually deal with this issue in a way that's responsible for current and future generations. >> considering the senator portman i heard there, how are you comfortable supporting a tax reform plan that would increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years? >> first, i'm real excited about this tax reform because i think it will generate a lot more revenue. i think it will over the ten-year period, chuck, you're talking about, result in deficit reduction. why? for the first time in over 30 years we're going to reform the tax code to provide a tax cut but also encourage investment for more jobs, more earnings and improve the economy. what we've said is if we can just improve the economy slightly, instead of the 1.9% growth that the congressional budget office says is going to happen, if we can do just that then we begin to reduce the deficit and i think that will
happen. >> do you realize its hard to really believe the idea that somehow cut revenue, cut taxes and somehow that's going to increase taxes -- >> not if you do tax reform. it's not just tax cuts, it's tax reform. >> but it is hard for people to believe that, that somehow paying less into the government will increase money into the government. >> i think most people believe the tax code is hopelessly broken, which it is. >> i think they agree with that. >> we have a tax code that encourages jobs and investment to go overseas and this reverses all of that. it will result in more investment coming to this country, more economic activity. everybody who looks at this tax reform proposal will be able to say i think across the spectrum, this is going to change behavior, and it's going to change behavior in a way that encourages job creation and economic growth. the question is how much. my view is this is pretty conservative because it's saying just a slight increase, again, 0.4%, we just had two quarters of 3% economic growth and this tax reform will help encourage that. i think at the end of the day
this will be reducing the deficit because it's going to finally get this economy moving. >> before i let you go, the president started talking a lot about russia again recently after something of a hiatus on the topic this fall and i think it's because we know there seems to be some developments coming tomorrow. let me play something that he said about the russia investigation earlier this week. >> and i have to say the whole russian thing is what it's turned out to be. this was the democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election. they lost it by a lot. they didn't know what to say, so they made up the whole russia hoax. >> do you agree with the president? >> too defensive. i mean, look, you won. i think you would agree, he won the election fair and square. he's duly elected. you know, we ought to instead focus on the outrage that the russians meddled in our elections, not just this last election. they did it long before donald trump and they'll do it long after donald trump so we need to get to the bottom of it and go where the facts lead us. >> are you concerned at all that the president might issue pardons too soon? is there something congress plans on doing if they think
he's going to pardon people or maybe fire mueller? >> i hope congress will encourage that the senate intelligence committee, which i think is doing a great job, bipartisan with senator warner, senator burr, complete their work and that we support this investigation that the department of justice has now appointed this special prosecutor, let's let him get to the bottom of it. as you know, i've been involved in this issue quite a while in terms of the disinformation the russians are doing, in terms of their meddling and every american should be focused on that. >> senator portman, i'll leave it there. congratulations on the buckeyes. >> great game yesterday. never, ever give up. that's the lesson. >> thanks for coming in. joining me now from st. louis is democratic senator claire mccaskill of missouri. senator mccaskill, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thanks. good morning, chuck. >> good morning to you. i'm going to actually start with a topic that i basically was ending with with senator portman and it has to do with taxes. you met with president trump recently on tax reform.
what promises did he make to you that makes you at least think about supporting his tax plan? >> well, he at least acknowledged that, you know, it's really hard for somebody like me to negotiate on this tax bill when we don't know what it is. it's hard for me to take seriously that they want democrats to participate when they won't show us the bill. what they have laid out is not a tax cut for middle class families. you know, 80% of the benefit that's going to go to pass-through companies will go to millionaires and above. they don't even tell us what the tax credit will be for children. right now the framework would have a one child policy. a family of four in missouri that makes $50,000 a year would pay $887 more under the framework they have laid out. so i want to work with them. if we can make this about the middle class and make this not trickle-down, but deliver it to the middle class and small
businesses, then i think they could get a bipartisan vote on this and that would be so much better for the country. >> look, you're not going to get everything you want. you're in the minority, your party is in the minority, so i guess what are you willing to compromise on? are you willing to support thso things that you don't agree with if it has provisions in it, 40% of what you like. do you support lowering the corporate tax rate down to 20%? >> i certainly support lowering the corporate tax rate so we're globally competitive. i could live with somewhere in the low 20s. depending on what they would do on a child tax credit or on making sure that kids can afford college, you know, retirement income, the notion that they're going to mess with the retirement accounts in order to give a tax break to millionaires and billionaires, that just doesn't work. so, yeah, i'll compromise. but you know, chuck, i've had a front row seat to what happened in kansas. they're our neighbor in missouri. and they said exactly what senator portman said.
we're going to have growth. it's not going to be a problem. it's been a huge problem in kansas. there wasn't growth. public schools suffered. and the republican legislature had to reverse the tax cuts they did in kansas. >> do you have a line in the sand of where you won't support this? do you have a deficit line in the sand? if it increases the deficit even temporarily, can you support this tax cut plan? >> i'm not going to do a line in the sand other than this. if they don't put some guardrails on the giant pass-through loophole that 95% of private businesses are going to enjoy and 80% of the business -- 80% of the benefit will go to millionaires and billionaires, that's what i can't do. i certainly can't do a policy that's going to hurt a family of four that has only a $50,000 income in my state. so they have got to show us. but it feels like they're going to ram this through on a party line vote and that's probably the most disappointing. >> look, you're running for re-election in a trump state. >> yeah.
>> the president has already visited your state once to talk about tax reform. here's what he said about you. >> we must lower our taxes. and your senator, claire mccaskill, she must do this for you. and if she doesn't do it for you, you have to vote her out of office. >> if president trump in the fall of '18 can say you didn't support his tax bill and your opponent is somebody that will work with him, how problematic is that for your re-election? >> well, i think missourians will take a look and see who is actually getting stuff done, and i couldn't agree more with rob portman. one of those senators that worked with rob portman was me. we did a lot of things together. i just had a republican senator call me over the weekend wanting me to work with him on a bill.
i've got a large body of work that is bipartisan and does accomplish things that matter for missouri families. i think that's what they want right now, not people on opposite sides of the room yelling at each other. i'm one of the few senators left that's not afraid to call myself a moderate. and i think that's what we need right now. all this noise is not accomplishing anything for people. >> what do you think you -- to the missouri voter, what do you and president trump have in common? do the missouri voter that voted for president trump that you're going to need if you win re-election, what would you tell them that you and president trump have in common? >> well, we have enough in common that he signed a number of my bills into law already. he agreed that we needed to get help to mustard gas veterans who had been tested with mustard gas during world war ii. he agreed that we needed to put generic drugs on a fast path to approval so we could bring down the price of prescription drugs. so there are things -- we certainly agree on infrastructure. if we could figure out a way to bring some of that money that's
parked overseas back to build roads and bridges and high-speed rural broadband in my state. there are specific policy things that we agree on and i am anxious to work with him on those things. we may not agree always on style and sometimes we don't agree on substance, but my job is not to fight him, my job is to fight for missourians. so i get up and my feet hit the ground trying to figure out how i can get stuff done for them, not how i can criticize the president. >> you said something recently that caught my eye and made me chuckle. you referenced a couple of cable news hosts and said 30% of missouri is worrying about what one cable news host is, 20% is worried about other and you said half the state is watching "dancing with the stars" and you're focused on the facts -- you say i try to focus on the folks watching "dancing with the stars." what are the "dancing with the stars" voters? >> they are single moms that don't know if they can afford to send their kids to camp. they are two working parents that are making a combined
income of less than $100,000 that are trying to figure out whether or not they can get to their child's soccer practice because they have to work extra hours because they're trying to put money in a retirement account. they are families living paycheck to paycheck. they are way too busy with their lives to worry about all this political noise. and frankly, they voted for me and for mitt romney. they voted for donald trump and jason candor. they will vote for a democrat and a republican. if they believe they're authentic, telling the truth and working hard. >> you recently bragged about not supporting harry reid when he was the senate democratic leader and you did that in 2014 because you thought maybe there was a leadership problem in the democratic party. i'm curious, do you still think the democratic party has a leadership issue? >> i think it is hard when we are the minority party that we have lots of folks that are leaders and want to be leaders. we have so many people that are trying to position themselves to
run for president, i think it's hard to do -- to say who is the leader and there's a lot of angst about that. i frankly don't worry about any of that. that's not something that concerns me. >> but you called yourself a moderate. let me ask you this, do you think the democratic party is open to moderates still? >> i do. >> what's the proof? isn't the party moving to the left? >> i think there's still a whole lot of people that care about the debt. i think there's a whole lot of people -- i mean there's a lot of issues that unite us as democrats. and i'm going to focus on those issues. and i'm not going anywhere on those issues. they're principled things i have voted on time and time again that unite the democratic party. you know, things like minimum wage, workplace protection, the safety net of pell grants, medicaid and medicare provide and social security. that unites us. i think that's going to be strong next year especially in the face of what's going on in the republican party. >> but let me ask it this way then, why is the democratic brand in such a bad standing in so many parts of missouri?
>> i think there's cultural issues that donald trump was, i think, very smart to emphasize that had made it hard sometimes for us to relate. sometimes those people watching "dancing with the stars," they're not getting into the details of what we're doing on pell grants, they are rather, saying, hey, i can't afford college. give it to me straight. they don't think they have gotten it straight. we get kind of lost in the weeds and the cultural issues divide cities and the rural areas. i've got to figure out a way to knit all that together. after doing almost 50 town halls, i'll tell you this, they want us to quit fighting with each other. that's what they want. >> senator mccaskill, i'll leave it there. i'm curious, did you visit more places in missouri or missouri? >> i say both because i'm from both places, but definitely more places in rural areas where president trump won by very large margins. i've spent time out there trying to listen and make sure i understand their frustration. >> a lot more missouri then, i
think. >> a lot more. >> thanks very much. when we come back, nbc news has confirmed that special counselor robert mueller will issue an indictment of some sort tomorrow in his russia investigation. we'll bring you the latest on that. later, why more than six in later, why more than six in ten am ♪ later, why more than six in ten am ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ a trip back to the dthe doctor's office, mean just for a shot. but why go back there, when you can stay home... ...with neulasta onpro? strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection.
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welcome back. the panel is here. chris matthews, host of "hardball" on msnbc and he's the author of the new book "bobby kennedy, a raging spirit." amy walters, the national editor of the cook political report. eliana johnson, political reporter for politico. and all cardenas, former chairman of the american conservative union. al, i want you to respond to our friends at "the weekly standard." the editorial headline was venture. the great bulk of elected republicans have surrendered to the forces of donald j. trump
and they didn't even put up much of a fight. has a hostile takeover of a historic institution ever been accomplished with less resistance? you have been accused of being a card-carrying member of the establishment party of the republican party every now and then. what do you say to your friends at the weekly standard? >> i think they're mostly right. we've had civil wars for 40 years but they have all been philosophical. this is different. this is about the rules of engagement. this is about expected behavior of people in public office. this is respect for the executive and legislative branch differences. basically steve bannon, whom you showed, wants everyone to take a knee to the white house and the president. and people are elected not to take a knee, they're elected to express their views and say what they will. there's no philosophical difference. those who have stayed quiet, stayed quiet because they don't have a real problem with the political agenda or philosophical agenda with the white house. but i'm not going to take a
knee. "the weekly standard" expressed it right. for the future america, for our social fabric, no one should take a knee. >> does everyone agree with al that this is a philosophical divide, an issue divide or what? >> i think that's overstating it a little bit and i think "the standard" is overstating it a little bit. there are plenty of ways for republican lawmakers to disagree with president trump. we just saw rob portman do it in his interview with you. we've seen lindsey graham do it. we've seen rand paul do it. what you can't do and this is what jeff flake and bob corker have done is you can't kind of have a sustained temper tantrum about the president on the national stage when you're facing re-election. so i do think there's plenty of room for doing that, but you can't define yourself in opposition to the president when you've got a competitive election coming up because the republican base does by and large support the president. >> it's trump's party now. >> it is, in that republicans say they approve of him.
i agree that they approve of the agenda overall. but when you look beyond the numbers of approval and get into the enthusiasm, this is where there's a problem for republicans across the board. the overall approval rating for the president among republicans, 81%. but those people who say they strongly approve of him, like in the 40s. go to where democrats are, overwhelmingly dislike him and feel very strongly about that. so the real question is not so much are we going to see the party break apart. we're not going to see the party break apart. but are voters who say they support the president and they want congress to support the president going to show up and vote in 2018 if they feel like they're not, they don't necessarily like what they're seeing out of washington and the agenda isn't getting accomplished. and that fundamentally becomes a question for republicans going forward. >> chris, i want you to react to andrew sullivan. he's a never turumper that put t this way. he is the total master of an enormous mob that so far has
complete low overcome the elites. he achieves this huh through incendiary oar tore, hourly provocations and relentless pop ganda. his propaganda machines rarely crack and there is no one in our political life capable of matching this power. name one if you can. how about that, can you? >> no. i think trump is constantly -- and this is not a knock or a salute. he is like a really successful comedian. he's always in touch with the audience. he tries out a joke. if it works, he tells it again. he works a wedge over and over again. he's figured out taking the knee is an issue for his side. the salute the flag people. he knows that he can make an issue out of any cultural question, sexual, whatever, having to do with bathrooms, he knows he can find the issues that rip the scab off this cultural divide and he plays it like a banjo. he gets 38% of the country at his worst. if he gets 38% the way he's been performing as president, what will happen if he has a good
week or two? and by the way, there's a trend line of resentment. i don't buy this fact that the resentment against the establishment sort of peaked in 2016 and is eroding. i think it may be growing. if he can ride that and surf his way to the next time when there's more resentment, because look at the democratic and republican parties. are they popular? the leadership? no. >> let me turn into the hurdle that could be the biggest stumbling block, the russia investigation. as we said earlier this week, i want to run down some things. we learned special counsel will present some sort of indictment tomorrow. the past two weeks have seen many high profile names being questioned by mueller's team or congressional committees. october 13th it was former white house chief of staff reince priebus, interviewed by team mueller. october 16th, former press secretary spicer spl er interv mueller. cory ley lewandowski. michael cohen and october 24th and 25th appeared in front of house and senate intel committees. brad parscale, the head of the
trump digital campaign team, he was interviewed by the house and october 27th, carter page, the forrest gump of all of this, foreign policy advisor, by the senate intel committee. the president has been all over this trying to turn this into a clinton investigation. and in fact it got so absurd, listen to corey lewandowski on the air a couple of days ago. >> give me a break, okay. look, the speculation is so insane right now, what we should be focusing on are the continued lies of the clinton administration. >> the clinton administration. >> i didn't remember that. i didn't know that happened. >> can trump turn this into a clinton -- >> it already is. it's already so muddled and so clouded. everybody has already taken their side, so that, you know, you've got a polarized group here and a polarized group there. there is almost nothing that can come up in the mueller investigation that's going to move those two poles. it has to be so dramatic and has to break through in a way that will get people out of these bubbles. if not, we're going to be where
we've been this whole time. >> russia won? >> russia won. look, all it has to do in my opinion, what the indictments look like, where this thing is going, it certainly sounds like it will last through the '18 election cycle and that's the challenging part of it for the white house. second, there are even those who are murmuring does he have the gumption to fire the special counsel. that would be a monumental event. >> tomorrow is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. when we come back, a view of the opioid epidemic that i promise you haven't seen before. >> you know, i see this as a countrywide problem that has the potential to bankrupt the country. >> it's a rare and moving firsthand account of what (avo) when you have type 2 diabetes, you manage your a1c,
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welcome back. 64,000. that's how many americans died of drug overdoses last year. 64,000. that's more than the number of americans killed in the entire vietnam war. that's more than one 9/11 every three weeks. president trump this week declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency but he did stop short of declaring it a national emergency. it's a distinction which would have provided new immediate funds to fight the crisis. a new documentry called heroin follows three women who are fighting the crisis in effect in ground zero in huntington, west virginia. one of these heroines is huntington fire chief jan raven. >> i'm not really sure what a plateau is going to look like. you know, i see this as a
countrywide problem that has the potential to bankrupt the country. you know, we conservatively estimated that the county, and we're talking 96,000 people, spent probably about $100 million in health care costs associated with iv drug use in 2015. that's one small county in one small state. i don't -- i can't even fathom what it's going to look like when it plateaus. but i know it will be rocky. >> -- overdose. we're clear, returning. >> welcome again west virginia fire chief joins me here in studio. welcome. >> thank you for having me. >> i want to throw the statistics that you just said in that clip from the movie here, 10% of the population of cabell county is addicted. $100 million in medical costs. one other statistic, 443% increase in overdoses in the last two years.
and as you pointed out, one county, more than 3,000 in this country. >> absolutely. >> take me through a day in the life. >> well, you know, it usually starts out slow. which is nice. but, 26% of the time that my guys get a call, they climb on a fire truck, they're going to an overdose. and a lot of times -- >> how often do they get on the truck -- >> less than 9% of the time now. >> most of the time to get on a truck it's to deal with an overdose? >> yes. and 10% of that time it's a death. it's not just a death it's a death of a young person. it's a very negative experience for everybody involved. the first responders. the person who overdoses. the family of the person who overdoses. probably about 50 brs of the time we have children involved. they're watching or in the lives of the people who overdose. so, it's a very negative all-day thing. right now, we average 5.3 overdoses a day. in huntington, west virginia. that's a town of 49,000 people. the county has 96,000 people.
and of the 64,000 that died last year, 132 of them died in cabell county last year. >> is there -- is there a day that goes by that you don't deal with this issue? >> no. no. i can't remember the last time, it's been years, since we had a day where we didn't have an overdose. >> is it young, old, is it a mix? or is it mostly young? >> in 2015, the youngest that we had was 12. the oldest was 78. there are no boundaries here. socioeconomic, color, age, sex, there are no boundaries. we see it all. >> the addiction for all of these folks. right now, you call it iv drug use. which basically you're saying some form of heroin. >> yes. >> they didn't start addicted to heroin. >> no they didn'ted. they started with pills, with a legal prescription. 80% of the people i deal with daily started with a legal prescription to an opioid. >> and essentially trigger eed
addiction and they were searching for something else. >> yes. and now once they're addicted they're trying not to be dope sick. and being dope sick is like the flu times ten. excessive vomiting, diarrhea, they spike a fever, they have severe abdominal cramping. so that's what they're trying to prevent. >> what do you -- if you had an audience with president trump. >> mm-hmm. >> and just say look this is what i need in the next 30 days. describe what that would be. >> first off i need an unlimited supply of nra can. i have to keep people alive before i can get them treatment. >> narcan still feeds the addiction somewhat. >> some people say that. you have to be alive to get into long-term treatment. so if i have to narcan you multiple times -- >> you're exstatic that walgreens is going to start selling it. >> absolutely ecstatic. i would ask for medically assisted detox and certainly ask for more treatment beds. go what gives you hope?
>> we have plenty of people in our town that are in long-term recovery. and they are healthy, happy, tax paying citizens. >> and it works? >> it has worked. people do recover. and i feel like we do need to focus on the positives that we are experiencing daily. >> chief raven, thank you. >> thank you, sir. >> no, no, no, thank you. for everything that you're doing fighting on the front lines. that's public service. >> appreciate it. >> thank you very much. by the way the documentary heroin is one of 16 films that will be screened at the first ever "meet the press" film festival in collaboration with the american film institute happening november 13th right here in washington twaug. we're pretty excited about it. tickets are on sell now. tickets are on sell now. when we come tickets are on sell now. when we come retail. under pressure like never before. and it's connected technology that's moving companies forward fast. e-commerce. real time inventory. virtual changing rooms. that's why retailers rely on comcast business to deliver consistent network speed across multiple locations.
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bp developed new, industry-leading software to monitor drilling operations in real-time, so our engineers can solve problems with the most precise data at their fingertips. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better. we're back. data download time. this week the national archives released about 3,000 files on the assassination of president john f. kennedy. but the government decided to hold back some of those files, which of course only fuels the belief among millions of americans that assassin lee harvey oswald did not act alone. in fact public interest in the kennedy assassination has remained remarkably strong over time. looking at google trends from 2004 to today, the jfk assassination is consistently ranked higher than two other more recent political events,
watergate and the clinton impeachment. in fact it's a bigger topic of interest in 49 out of 50 states. maryland, oddly enough, is the outlier on this one. interest is high because many believe we don't know all there is to know. according to polling by gallup, a majority of americans have always believed assassin lee harvey oswald did not act alone. in 1963, it was 52% of folks who believed others were involved in the killing. the number peaked at a whopping 81% of americans in 1976, that was shortly after a film was released and it hit that number in early 2001. at the 50th anniversary of the assassination in 2013, the number was 61% of americans who believed others were involved. and those numbers hold fairly steady today. according to a new poll that 61% is still there of folks who believe that others were involved, while 33% think oswald acted alone. in fact a majority of nearly
every demographic group across the country believes others were involved in the killing, with the exception of one group. whites with a college degree. it's even something trump voters and clinton voters agree on, and you know how high a bar that is these days. 61% and 59% respectively believe in the conspiracy theory involving jfk. questioning the lone gunman theory of the jfk assassination is becoming engrained in national culture. it's as american as apple pie these days. beliefs like those are hard to change over time, you need more facts. and the government decided not to release everything. when we come back, end game and more from our nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. could we be seeing signs of a change and perhaps a wave when it comes to the battle for congress next year? coming up, end game, brought to you by boeing. to you by boeing. co five years ago, on any given night, to you by boeing. co almost 75,000 veterans experienced homelessness. we have reduced those numbers by almost half, but despite the great progress that we have achieved,
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to you by boeing, continuing our mission to connect, protect, explore and inspire. back now with end game. we've got a few more numbers to share with you from the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. among registered voters 48% want to see democrats control congress as opposed to 41 for republican. this is the more important number to focus on. 46% want them as a check on president trump and 28% want more republicans to help the president and republicans in congress. one of our pollsters said some of the numbers should serve as a flashing yellow light to republicans. amy walter, this is what you get paid to do for a living. >> yes. >> it and seven points in the nbc/"wall street journal" poll is different than other polls because we have such a tight screen. what does that tell you? >> well, number one, it is ridiculously early and i think the congressional ballot test
becomes much more important as we get to the summer of next year. and where democrats would ultimately like to be is double digits, even in your screen, to be able to hit that magic number for takeover. that said, i think the flashing number in this dashboard that they are talking about is this enthusiasm gap even in republican districts where republican voters in republican districts were supportive of their must their members. now they're less supportive. this is what the splitting of the party is about, it's not just frustration with the president, it's that the president is challenging his party every day an blaming them. so if you're a republican voter you say, let's see here, they're not getting anything done, they're not helping the president, washington is a swamp. why should i go vote for these people? >> and somebody else answer that question. why? >> well, i think i agree with amy, you need double digit. if you look at the concentration of liberal voters and progressive voters, they are in san francisco, l.a., new york, chicago.
they're highly concentrated. >> in the blue states. >> winning nationally doesn't help you at all, you've got to crosswalk it. i agree, double digits for a victory for the democrats. >> two quick thoughts. i was sort of surprised by that number about voters who want this congress to be checked. i don't really know what they think -- >> new york city the president to be checked. >> congress is getting nothing done, but, you know, i do think that on the enthusiasm question in the same way that republicans had a lot of enthusiasm to check president obama, i think you're going to see a lot of democrats enthused to go out and check president trump. and in the presidential, republicans were motivated out of an animus towards hillary clinton that they're not going to have in midterm elections so i do think democrats of the advantage as well as being the out party with the republican majority. >> you've already seen some evidence in florida. >> in south florida, we had one of our great champions lose a state senate race to a five-time
loser, mostly driven by the independent voters who weren't happy with the national picture. look, we are probably going to lose some seats in the house. i feel pretty good about the senate just because of the makeup and how she well related the republicans are playing the white house thing well. but in the house, on those 50 races, 45 races we're going to look at to see if we lose the house or not, independents will play a key role. the two things we need to do is pass something of significance before the election, get more civility going in those districts and learn how to appeal better to independents. >> i want to do an awkward transition that's not so awkward because i want to give chris a chance to talk a little bobby kennedy. i'll ask it this way. you heard claire mccaskill try to downplay differences inside the party. you've been living with bobby kennedy for the last year. >> a number of years. >> all right. >> i'm trying to figure him out. >> we'll see how that plays on twitter here in a second. but he was the last democrat that was attempting to stitch
together this coalition, right, of basically what is now the trump base, right? is that what you discovered? >> i didn't start the book with that idea years ago, but it clearly is -- if you look at two pictures. think of bobby kennedy the night that martin luther king was killed. he goes into a tough neighborhood, an african-american neighborhood in indianapolis. the police wouldn't even go in there with him. and he stood in front of this crowd and told them martin luther king had been killed. they hadn't gotten the word yet. this was before twitter. he had to tell them that with a full heart and say my brother was killed by a white guy and he's trying to talk to them. that sense of moral authority to cross the line from white to black is gone now. when he died, the funeral train, look at the pictures of the people along the train, the tracks. you see african-americans, 20,000 people in baltimore, african-americans, singing spontaneously "the battle hymn of the republic." they were singing it for him. the poor people saluting him. that patriotic unity of the
democratic base of working white people and working black people is gone, because bobby, bobby represented -- we were talking before the show about what he meant, and his ability to inspire that. if anything, this book will revive the belief it's doable, that working white and black people can have the same political goals. >> those cultural divides are huge, as claire mccaskill said. >> you know, both sides serve to satisfy. lack of inspiration is probably the biggest need. >> that i agree with a lot. they're going to keep going. i'm going to ending it here. that's all we have for today. i'll be back next week on our 70th anniversary. 70 years of "meet the press." and if it's sunday, it will be always "meet the press." we'll see you then. >> announcer: you can see more end game and postgame sponsored by boeing on the "meet the press" facebook page.
a back and forth nail-biter becomes one of the most exciting world series games ever played, and it just ended early this morning. >> today a federal grand jury is expected to bring formal criminal charges in special counsel robert mueller's investigation into russian election interference. >> developing overnight, actor kevin spacey apologizes after someone accuses him of an under age advance. >> a $300 million contract with the small montana energy company will soon be canceled. "early today" starts right now. good monday morning to you. i'm frances rivera. >> and i'm phillip mena. >> millions are at risk this morning as a powerful storm batters the